Starset Society 中文镜像站


Black holes may merge with light of a trillion suns, scientists say

When black holes collide, the ensuing cosmic drama was assumed to play out under the cloak of darkness, given that both objects are invisible. But now astronomers believe they have made the first optical observations of such a merger, marked by a blaze of light a trillion times brighter than the sun.


The flare was linked to a known black hole merger detected last year by the gravitational wave observatory, Ligo, which picked up ripples sent out through the fabric of space. The latest observations suggest that when these cataclysmic events occur within the accretion disk of an even more gigantic black hole, they are brilliantly illuminated by the surrounding dust and gas, making them also visible to optical telescopes.


“This supermassive black hole was burbling along for years before this more abrupt flare,” said Matthew Graham, a research professor of astronomy at the California Institute of Technology and lead author of the work. “We conclude that the flare is likely the result of a black hole merger.”

加州理工学院天文学研究教授、这项工作的主要作者马修·格雷厄姆(Matthew Graham)说:“在这次更为突然的耀斑爆发之前,这个超大质量的黑洞已经运转了好几年了。”。“我们的结论是,耀斑很可能是黑洞合并的结果。”

Read more at The Guardian